Last night, House of Cards fans were treated to special sneak peek of Season 5 and a Q&A hosted by Netflix’s Ted Sarandos with Executive Producer and HOC star Kevin Spacey.
Spacey was hilariously entertaining as he shared anecdotes of his humble beginnings as an understudy to starring on Broadway with the legendary late Jack Lemmon. Not knowing that my former tango partner was a Los Angeles native, I was on the edge of my seat listening to him recall meeting Lemmon at a Mark Taper workshop when he was 13 years-old and how it was then that he was bitten by the acting bug.
Years later in New York, a 25 year-old Spacey became determined to grab the lead opposite Lemmon in “A Long’s Day’s Journey Into Night” in the role of Jaime. He then prefaced the rest of this tale by saying, ” I am by no means encouraging anyone to do this,” as he continued to recount how he lifted a ticket to a lecture of the play’s director Jonathan Miller from an unsuspecting older woman. The risky move paid off and months later he found himself on Broadway opposite Jack Lemmon. The whole story was riveting as Spacey told the whole story doing spot on impersonations of Lemmon and Miller. He also slipped in a few impersonations of former POTUS Bill Clinton and Lemmon frenemy Walter Matthau.
When switching the subject onto House of Cards and former show runner Beau Willimon, Spacey recalled, “Sometimes he’s just wearing you down, just beating the acting out of you, where you’re doing it with beauty and clarity”. The one comment he made about table reads was really a revelation for someone who has seen an actor removed or their role enhanced based on this event. Spacey said that table reads are not about what’s wrong with the actors saying the lines as much as “they show what the problems are with the script…It’s about the rhythm of the words. Words can be like music, you have to find the beat.”
I can tell those of you who love Frank Underwood and his shenanigans on House of Cards that won’t be let down the first episode of Season 5 hits Netflix worldwide on May 30.